Mr. Johnny McAllister was once again present at the Jackson County Commission meeting held on June 24th to address the issue of road conditions on County Road 491 near Devil’s Brow. McAllister stated he wishes to open a business there and would like the road repaired correctly for future customers.

The road was likened to a washboard.
Northeast Alabama Forester Jason Dockery from the Alabama Forestry Commission acknowledged the good relationship between Jackson County and the Forestry Commission and announced the closure of the Madison County office, confirming the Jackson County office would remain open. Dockery also spoke about the White Oak Initiative, and its efforts focused on the need for re-establishing the American white oak in the forests of the eastern United States due to disease, climate changes, insects, and inefficient forest management.
Several motions were carried. The motion to amend the sanitation budget, transferring funds from one line item to another without altering overall budget was carried, and the motion to approve the lowest bidder for the four 2019 Ford F-250 crew cabs for the Sanitation Department was also approved. Bruce Purdy was approved to the Jackson County EDA board; Shannon Draper was approved for the vacant full-time MVT-1 position (Grade 5) for the Tags Department; Tim Little was approved for the vacant full-time Park Maintenance position (Grade 4) for the Parks Department; and Kelvin Clark was approved for the vacant full-time maintenance lead (Grade 8) for the Public Works Department.
During reports from staff, Jackson County Administrator Bob Manning presented a growing problem with the county jails in Alabama. Due to legislation in Montgomery and state officials, more state inmates are being sent to county jails. Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen confirmed the county has gone from an estimated 130 to 240 in the past two years and has put the county jail 30-40 people over the limit. The increase has caused a shortage in beds. Recently the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) sent Manning the following information:
“Officials with the Alabama Department of Corrections point to a provision of the 2015 prison reform legislation as the culprit for a sharp increase in state inmates sleeping in county jails – and a close look at the numbers gives rise to great concern. On June 14, more than 200 state inmates were housed in county jails in direct violation of the Alabama Supreme Court order that the inmates be removed within 30 days. This number does not include the scores of others sitting in county jails who are not technically classified as “state inmates” yet await transfer to state custody because of technical violations of their parolee conditions. These so-called “dunks” − parolees who commit minor violations and who returned to state custody for a 45-day timeout − are now backing up in county jails as the state juggles the intake of both newly convicted inmates, as well as the growing number of “dunks” being produced at the local level. Waiting in the wings are another 400 inmates who will be in violation of the 30-day order if they are not moved to state custody by July 4. And all of this is occurring while some state leaders are looking at plans to shift more state inmates to local custody.”
Manning confirmed that when a state prisoner is held over 30 days in county, it is in violation of the Alabama Supreme Court order. Manning also outlined the cost of providing health care and dental care to county jail inmates. The county is paying an estimated $300,000 per year for health and dental for inmates, and the total cost of the county jail operation runs close to $2 million per year.
In the coming weeks, Manning, along with the other commissioners, will be presenting public information regarding funding and delegation of said funding for the county and the state. He stated, “I don’t know of any other county or state agency that can still fully function today with funding set in place from 50 or 60 years ago. DeKalb County gets $10 per tag, and last year they brought in nearly $729,000. Jackson still gets $1.25 per tag, and that’s just one example.” To put it in perspective, the county receives 5% of tag sales, while the state takes 95%. After repeated attempts during meetings with Legislative Delegation, Manning has requested a higher amount to be given to county from these tag and license sales, but the answer was no.
Manning also distributed a printout of TVA in-lieu-of tax entity allocations for monthly/annual payments. Fixed payment entities receive as follows: EDA Fund $4,157.55 monthly/$49,890.56 annually; Ambulance service $12,083.33 / $145,000; Scottsboro - Jackson County Rescue Squad $2,916.67/$35,000; EDA $15,000/$180,000; 24 volunteer fire departments $15,000/$180,000; Jackson County Association of VFD $2,916.67 / $35,000; Chamber of Commerce $3,333.33/$40,000.
The remaining balance is distributed as follows: Legislative Delegation $7,206.94 /$86,483.31; EDA $7,206.94 /$86,483.31; Municipalities: Bridgeport, $10,326.18 /$123,914.13; Dutton, $1,345.22 /$16,142.66; Hollywood, $4,270.54 /$51,246.54; Hytop, $1,511.77 /$18,141.27; Langston, $1,153.05 /$13,836.57; Paint Rock, $896.81 /$10,761.77; Pisgah, $3,083.33 /$37,000; Pleasant Grove, $1,793.63 /$21,523.55; Scottsboro, $63,075.95 / $756,911.38; Section, $3,288.32 /$39,459.84; Skyline, $3,634.23 /$43,610.80; Stevenson, $8737.53 /$104,850.42; Woodville, $3,185.83 /$38,229.92.
Jackson County Schools: Jackson County Board of Education $88,359.31 /$1,060,311.70.
Scottsboro City Board of Education $41,365.66/$496,387.92; Jackson County General Fund $109,905.88 /$1,318,870.51.

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